I just finished making a recipe for Union Square Cafe's (a restaurant in NYC) mixed nuts, which I happened to see on the show Best Thing I ever Ate. On the show they warned you that these nuts are very addictive, and they were right. This recipe is not for "candied nuts" which are much sweeter, its more of a salty snack with a hint of sweet and spice. I love the combination of flavors and I got to use the last few sprigs of rosemary from the garden. These are perfect for a party or munching on with a cold beer.
I happened to have a few minutes to myself this afternoon, so I decided to keep experimenting and make mixed nut brittle, using the mixed nut recipe below. I always feel like a mad scientist when making candy but I am thankful I decided to try this combination. It made my salty snack into a sweet treat with a hint of salt and spice...absolutely addictive. (Recipe for brittle, below mixed nut recipe)
Mixed Nuts with Rosemary (Recipe comes from Nigella Lawson on foodnetwork.com)
2 1/4 cups assorted unsalted nuts, such as peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans and whole almonds
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F
2. Toss the nuts in large bowl to combine and spread them out on baking sheet. Toast in the oven until light golden brown, about 10 minutes
3. In a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, sugar, salt and melted butter
4. Thoroughly toss the toasted nuts in the spiced butter and serve warm.
Mixed Nut Brittle with Rosemary (Adapted from tasteofhome.com)
1 1/2 tsp plus 3 tbsp butter, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup light corn syrup
10 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) mixed nuts (from recipe above)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1. Butter a baking sheet with 1 1/2 tsp of butter; set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 270 degrees F, stirring occasionally.
2. Add in nuts and stir until mixture reaches 300 degrees F. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and remaining butter. Add in baking soda and stir vigorously.
3. Quickly pour onto prepared baking sheet. Spread with a greased/buttered metal spatula to 1/4 inch thickness. Cool before breaking into pieces. Store in an airtight container.